Lean blogging with iA Writer + TxtRacer Combo

Since iA Writer for Mac, blogging with TxtRacer has never been easier for me. Here's how and why.

HOW: iA Writer + TxtRacer

Here is my work flow for blogging:

  1. Write the text in iA Writer, using MarkDown. Save it as sth. like speaking-name.txt.
  2. Upload the text and pictures via Transmit to the web server under a directory like 2011/07.

Done.

View it in the browser, as TxtRacer renders it automatically. It's already on the web under konnexus.net/2011/07/speaking-name and per default on the homepage and rss feed.

Preview

Done? What about a preview? What about correcting typos etc. Well: name the file with a "_" in the beginning. Then it won't appear in any search etc. But the url still will work. If you're the only one who knows the file name, only you will see the blog post. Of course, you can share the url with your reviewers. Voilà - the preview.

Editing

Doubleclick in Transmit will open the file so you can edit typos and save. Needless to say that the saved version is already online. That's the correction process.

WHY: Experience with Wordpress

A few weeks ago I witnessed @iA_Chris publishing an article on Wordpress. At one point I started to wonder how much time you spend to fill the gap between the written text and the actual publishing. I saw Chris doing:

  • Formatting, especially writing HTML for custom styled text and images
  • Pasting pictures into the media library, then copying the urls by hand and pasting them into self-written HTML tags
  • Previewing, going back to HTML, resizing the editing form field again and again.

Don't get me wrong. Chris is one of the blessed people who can write and code in an efficient and effective way. He knows how to operate WP by heart. So I asked myself: if even Chris spends hours, how much do others spend?

I know, TxtRacer is geeky and won't ever be mainstream or even have a community. Still, it makes my life easier at times.

Room for improvement

Actually the lean blogging process could be even simpler.

  1. As I want to have manual control over my home page articles, I have a "home_content" file and paste the urls in there. Then it appears on the homepage and in the feed. Of course this could easily be replaced by some script that just shows the newest articles. I just wanted to have full control over it. So I removed this step of the general blogging process.
  2. I would love to have dropbox doing the FTP-upload and sync thing. Dropbox just does not have an API for that. Sadly.


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2011-07-12

(cc-by-sa) since 2005 by Konstantin Weiss.